We're generally about technology

Teething Problems

Can’t we all just get along people?

There has been a lot of changes and transitions going on in the tech world as some of you may have noticed, so I would like to take a look at what’s going on and try to see past these issues to the future. Like with any change there will be what I call teething problems, change hurts as we humans are creatures of habit, we (or most of us) find out how the world works and we develope a habit or routine that allows us to go through most of life on auto pilot. This gives us a kind of peace as we don’t need to make a lot of decisions every day, naturally when things do inevitably change it hurts until we get used to the new, like cruising at mach 2 in a fighter jet then making a 9 G turn, the law of inertia hurts and crushes us until we catch up with the jet then we are fine. So in this series of post I plan to look at the major issues facing us in this transition and reassure people that we will eventually make it through and what’s going on now, as bad as it is, is actually natural.

If you haven’t heard, lately there has been a lot of legal fighting between major tech companies. Microsoft is suing smaller companies for using Linux (TomTom and Amazon) and Apple is suing Nokia and HTC for making smartphones that are rivaling their iPhone. The list keeps going but the main point is non of these legal battles have any credibility to them, for example Microsoft is the largest and richest company on earth and they are using that against smaller companies that can’t afford a long legal battle. Please note that Microsoft isn’t going after Google even though they use and support Linux in just about every thing they make or use. So the smaller companies just settle with Microsoft because it is much cheaper in the long run. Apple on the other hand is essentially claiming that they have a patient for slickness. In their dispute with HTC (the primary developer of Google android phones) they are singling out Google Android not Windows mobile 6.x. This is because Windows mobile 6.x is a clunky joke of a mobile os with a declining market share, where as Android is getting slicker by the month as well as being projected to out see the iPhone in the next year. Note they are not going after Google directly even though they make the Android OS that is supposedly responsible for infringing on Apple’s patients. Apple is also going after Palms new WebOS Phones like the Pre and the Pixi because it is a very slick os. Note they are not going after RIM’s Blackberry. This is all possible because of the concept of Software Patients, which is necessary, developers need to be able to make a living off their code and people stealing their code doesn’t help that. However what Apple and Microsoft is doing is trying to kill competition by suing them into oblivion rather than actually making a better and more affordable product. So while the software patent system is necessary it is in need of major reform to prevent something like this from happening. It looks as though we are on the edge of a virtual global war between major tech companies. Ultimately the consumers will decide who wins this war, but right now they don’t know it’s going on and even if they do they might not understand it. The consumers won’t make a decision until the after math when it affects them. For example say that Apple is successful in suing HTC/Google and Nokia and gets them to take their products of the market, the consumers will come into the stores like normal to buy one of those slick HTC Google Phones on T-mobile, but when they ask for them the sales man will have to tell them he can’t sell them because Apple made HTC stop selling them. Trust me this will go over like a lead balloon, and people will probably bring back the old practice of boycotting and will boycott Apple and/or start protesting (possible riots) until the governments change the necessary laws to prevent this from happening in the future. So eventually things will sort themselves out but in the mean time, stock you bunkers, pick your sides and let’s get ready to ride out this war.

Tune in next time when we’ll take a look at major multi-media content providers and their teething problems.

Joshua Powers

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